Milligan College will host the sixth annual area-wide string orchestra workshop, which culminates with a concert Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium in Seeger Memorial Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.
The all-day workshop will feature 200 high school and college string students from Dobyns-Bennett High School, Science Hill High School and Milligan. Renowned conductor and string educator Scott Laird from the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics will serve as workshop clinician.
The evening concert will showcase the beautiful and energetic sounds of a mass orchestra. Some of the pieces to be performed include “Pizzicati (Scherzettino from Sylvia)” by Delibes, “Point Lookout (A Fantasy on Civil War Songs)” by Brian Balmages, “Cinema Paradiso” by Morricone and “Vanishing Pointe” by Meyer.
Laird is an instructor of music and fine arts coordinator at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where he directs the orchestra and teaches courses in recording technology, classical guitar, and piano and music history.
Before arriving at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Laird worked in high schools as an orchestra director and string teacher. He founded the Palmyra Bluegrass String Camp, which teaches the fundamentals of bluegrass to classical string players. Additionally, he is president of the North Carolina chapter of The American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and chair of the ASTA’s National Committee on School Orchestras and Strings. He is a frequent presenter at ASTA’s national conferences, speaking on topics ranging from electric strings to traditional pedagogy to more philosophical sessions that deal with student motivation and curriculum.
Laird also is a recording artist who has appeared on record labels such as Motown, REX and Roadrunner. He has worked with the thrash metal band, Believer, by performing on the electric violin. His newest CD, “Simple Gifts,” also emphasizes his use of the electric violin. He has shared the stage with other well-known artists including Dave Brubeck, Lost in the Trees, Mike Marshall, Joey Calderazzo, Jon Metzger and others.